After an early start and tiring journey on Saturday morning, we arrived full of excitement and enthusiasm, ready to explore the city of Berlin. A quick bus journey took us to our hotel, located adjacent to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (main train station in Berlin) and a short walk away from some of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, such as the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate.
We passed these on our walk to Potsdamer Platz, where we had a tour of the film museum. Here we learned all about cinematography and film in Germany which provided interesting background knowledge to help us with the film analysis part of our AS and A-level courses.
After a long and tiring day, we returned to our hotel for a quiet night of diary-writing and teaming up to compete in quizzes, a great opportunity to get to know others from both AS and A-level classes.
Our tour guide, Tatjana, greeted us early at our hotel on Sunday morning and began her interesting and educational walking tour of Berlin. This was a fantastic chance to see all of Berlin’s most fascinating sights up close, including the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe and the location of Hitler’s office and bunker in World War 2. Tatjana’s enthusiasm and friendliness further improved the experience for everybody and allowed us the opportunity to ask any questions. A short ride on the U-Bahn (the German underground railway) took us further into Berlin’s centre, where we visited one of Berlin’s finest chocolatiers.
After saying farewell to Tatjana our afternoon then took us to the GDR (former East Germany) museum – particularly useful and educational considering the political history and changes of Germany in the film, Goodbye Lenin!, which both AS and A-level classes must study.
On Sunday evening, after a quick meal and rest at the hotel, we wandered over to the Reichstag where we were able to explore the glass dome and its historical meaning – a beautiful night-time view of the city.
On the third day we went to the wall museum next to checkpoint Charlie, one of the most famous border crossings between East and West Germany. After taking photos with the iconic American border control guards, we explored the museum in which we learnt about many escape stories of desperate East Berliners. We even saw the hot air balloon that carried two lucky families to safety.
Next stop: Kurfürstendamm – Berlin’s bustling shopping district. Whilst there, we had a look around the reminder of Peace. After a busy morning, everyone was excited to have some free time to explore, shop and try the renowned Currywurst.
We spent our last evening together and celebrated our trip by going Bowling. We had lots of fun and tried not to get too competitive!
On our last day in Berlin, we visited the TV tower and took the lift to the viewing platform that overlooks the city. Here you can read information about various buildings and points of historical interest, of which there are many in Berlin. Before the flight home, the whole group had a big buffet lunch together in Kaufhof Galeria, to mark the end of our wonderful trip. We even managed to squeeze in some last minute shopping before taking the train to the airport.